From dedicated fan zones to special room rates, the UAE is all set to roll out the red carpet to welcome football fans from all over the world during the Qatar World Cup.
Scheduled to take place from November 20 to December 18, the FIFA World Cup in Qatar is expected to bring thousands of fans to the UAE. The football competition that occurs once every four years is one of the most anticipated sporting events in the world.
Khaleej Times rounds up some of the most significant events that will be happening during the sporting event in the country
1. Fan Zones
Football Park Fan Zone, DIFC
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) will be hosting a unique Football Park Fan Zone which will bring together Michelin-starred restaurants, butler services and a concierge for fans. The tickets for these go on sale today, September 15. Fans will be able to watch the matches on a huge screen on the podium of the Gate Avenue.
World of Sports Fan Zone, Habtoor Grand
Join 1500 other football fans at the Habtoor Grand Resort’s fan zone which is inside a tent in its garden. With sumptuous food, live performances and the matches being telecast on large screens, it will be a treat for all football lovers.
Room rates are expected to soar 20 per cent during the period and hotels are expecting to be operating at 100 per cent capacity. Here are some hotels offering special Qatar World Cup Packages:
Sports tourism agency Expat Sports has teamed up with NH Hotel to offer a unique experience called ‘Football Fans Dubai Experience’. Guests can avail of packages that will include daily flights to Qatar, free shuttle buses to Dubai fan zones and other perks.
Ghaya Grand Hotel
This hotel based in Dubai Production city is offering a limited time early bird offer which offers a discount on laundry services, spa treatments and food and beverages.
Three airlines in the UAE - Etihad Airlines, Air Arabia and FlyDubai have announced shuttle services to Qatar, taking the flights between the two countries up to more than 60 a day.
Only those with valid tickets to the matches will be able to take these flights. On certain airlines, passengers can carry only 10 kg of hand luggage and no check-in baggage is allowed on this flight. Flyers will also need a Hayya Card to access the stadium and avail of the free transportation to and from stadiums on the Doha metro.
In addition to this, there are several private jet companies, including DC Aviation Al-Futtaim and JetzHub, that are offering their services during the period.
Special multiple-entry visas have been introduced by the UAE for those who will be travelling to the country to watch the Qatar World Cup. Holders of the ‘Hayya’ Card issued to those who have tickets to the World Cup matches will be able to enter and stay in the UAE for 90 days using this visa that just costs Dh100. This visa can be extended for another 90 days according to the conditions, procedures and the normal fees followed in the current visa system in the UAE.